§ 30. Lieut.-Colonel ARCHER-SHEE
asked the Secretary of State for War if he can say what steps have been taken to ascertain whether ex-Service men are available as motor drivers and to make the requirements of the War Office known; and whether he will consider the possibility of forming a corps of such men to act as motor drivers in place of the women at present employed, the necessity for whose employment has now ceased with the conclusion of Peace?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Instructions as regards the employment of men in civil life to fill vacancies created by demobilisation were issued to all commands shortly after the Armistice. The requirements of the War Office are fully made known through the medium of the Labour Exchanges. Ex-Service men are employed wherever possible. Revised terms for re-enlistment in the Army for mechanical transport duties have also been issued, which enable ex-soldiers who are motor drivers to re-enlist for short periods.
There are certain services which it is considered must be performed by enlisted soldiers or properly enrolled persons; the number of women drivers employed is being gradually reduced as enlisted soldiers becomes available to take their places.
With regard to the latter part of the question, I am afraid it is not feasible to form a separate corps of civilian drivers, as my hon. and gallant Friend suggests, but he may rest assured that ex-Service men are being, and will be, employed as far as the exigencies of the Service permit.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
Is he aware that especially in Dublin and the surrounding districts, there are a large number of unemployed ex-Service men who were trained in the Army and are competent to drive motor cars, and that women continue to be employed there, in large numbers, and will he substitute these ex-Service men, when they come forward, for these women drivers?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I will make an inquiry into the special fact which has been brought forward by my hon. and gallant Friend.